International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking - 26 June

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, is marked on 26 June every year, to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of a world free of drug abuse.
And each year, individuals like yourself, entire communities, and various organizations all over the world join in on this global observance, to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent for society.
Together, we can tackle the world drug problem!

Every year, UNODC issues the World Drug Report, full of key statistics and factual data obtained through official sources, a science-based approach and research.

UNODC continues to provide facts and practical solutions to address the current world drug problem, and remains committed to attaining a vision of health for all based on science.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented public awareness on health, protective measures for staying healthy, and most importantly, and on  protecting each other. A growing sense of global community and solidarity continues to emerge, as does the need to ensure health care for all.
World Drug Day is a day to share research findings, evidence-based data and life-saving facts, and to continue tapping into a shared spirit of solidarity.
UNODC invites everyone to do their part, by taking a firm stance against misinformation and unreliable sources; while committing to sharing only the real science-backed data on drugs and save lives.

The ‘Words Matter’ Game Challenges Drug-related Stigma and Reducing Discrimination

Rami*, a young man, shared the story of a robbery in a supermarket where his friend, who had previously struggled with drug dependence, faced stigma at his work and was wrongly accused of theft. A proper investigation was not done, and he lost his job. “Can you imagine the impact of a word on a person who is in the process of rebuilding their life and seeking a second chance?” Rami stated. This incident highlights how a word confines an individual through labeling and stigmatization, which could have devasting consequences.
alt text is missing
Rami shared this true story during a discussion on stigmatization and discrimination led by the UNODC team with groups of youth (girls and boys) in detention and communities to mark World Drug Day (WDD). The discussion revolved around a game called “words matter” or “ بتِفرُق عَ كِلمَة”. The game was developed by UNODC in Lebanon with the participation of young people, inspired by the #WDD2023 theme for this year: “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention”. The game aims to increase empathy and promote non-stigmatizing attitudes and address discrimination against people in vulnerable situations including those affected by psychoactive substance use and dependence.
By encouraging youth to reflect on the issue of stigmatization and its destructive effects, the game players realized the importance of refocusing on “humanity, on the person behind the labels we often attach to them, rediscovering the empathy that is inherent in all of us,” as one of them noted.
This initiative is part of the regional project “Youth4Impact” implemented in 6 MENA countries; namely Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan, and Palestine.
*Rami is a pseudonym used to maintain the anonymity of the speaker.

Game materials – 1234 5